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Showing posts from March, 2012

Foreigner Laoduzi

No one likes to be sick, but being sick in a foreign country adds a whole new level of misery. One of the first Chinese phrases I learned was “wo you laoduzi.” This was supposed to be the phrase to get out of whatever your school wanted you to do. I learned the literal meaning is “I have diarrhea.”

I dread going to the doctor’s anyway, but I especially dread Chinese hospitals. They have a smell that is hard to describe. Chinese people go to the doctor for anything; a cough, a headache, whatever. There is no privacy or social norms like in the US. The doctors are not respected and often seen as money hungry or even corrupt. As soon as you sign in with a nurse, you pick which doctor you want to see and just line up outside their door. So whether you are there for a cold or for a heart attack you just stand by the door. Sometimes while you are in the room with the doctor he is doing other paper work or people will walk in and hand him things to sign. There is nothing to stop overly push…